The 2009 – 2010 Sailing Season: a continuation of the great fun and good friendship from year before, as it should be. Despite the G.E.C, A.W.B, B.F.G or any other acronyms the media care to throw at us we’ve managed to survive, and survive quite well. Membership continues to be strong, certainly in the sailing and associate division, we’re still afloat financially and as we watch the sun getting lower in the west, after a day of sailing, life doesn’t get much better than this. The biggest problem we have is the way time flies when having fun, and this year has flown.
We regularly see around 14 ships being readied on our dwindling shore on most Saturdays. ‘Dwindling shores’ – now that takes us back. We used to have one of the prettiest little beaches on Wallagoot Lake, apart from maybe Hobart Beach. Remember when we had to wheel our vessels to the start line, and how the salt concentration had reached such a super saturation level? It meant our Plimsoll line was so far away from the water surface and our boats floated so high and we didn’t need so much water. But after the rains in February; beach – gone, mud flats – gone, the smell of decomposing cockles – gone. It did make it very easy to launch the rescue boat again. And the lake itself with an 8 foot (2.443 meters) layer of murky fresh water on top of the salt layer – that’s something you don’t see every day. But what we do see is bunch of really, really mature blokes and a bunch of really, really young dudes having great fun playing about in boats. As mentioned before, with around 14 vessels lining up for a Saturday race, our membership is looking healthy and so is our viability as a club.
Sailing lessons this year, as for last year, saw about 10 debutantes come and try their hand. Weather was kind for our beginners and not so nerve racking for instructors. Several younger members from this year and last year’s classes now sail regularly and that’s fantastic. We even had new sailors from Canada come and tackle our grueling training course. We also have people with a curiosity for sailing arriving on Saturdays and it’s good to see each weekend is a try sailing day. Showing visitors that sailing is an enjoyable and affordable sport is how this club, and other clubs, will continue to develop so thanks everyone for helping out.
Our regatta this year was a great success with respect to the organisation and running and thank you everyone for that. The weather was near perfect with a good steady breeze even on Sunday morning. Participating sailor numbers were again down this year, yet as an event it couldn’t be beaten. A big thank you to: Andrea for a well run club house (couldn’t have done it without you); Robin and the race committee for the races; and to all the volunteers on shore and rescue boats; for a top weekend. And how about that fantastic dinner on Saturday night? That’s got to be marked down as a highlight for the year.
Once again the Sabre challenge this year was a fiercely contested event with only the width of a hens tooth between competitors. Maybe this there might be a cat challenge except Tony will need to sail something other than his paper tiger. Tony represented us in NZ at the International Paper Tiger regatta and did well. Well done.
Jelly fish numbers were holding steady at the beginning of the season unlike the water level which continued to drop. But, as the rains came in February, I think the poor things had trouble adjusting to the fresh water and stayed down lower, or there was simply a dilution factor thus reducing the number of jelly fish per cubic meter of water.
To finish, thank yous to must go to:
Neil for watching the ebbs and flows of our finances; Allen for keeping up to the minute record of what we say; Sian for reporting what we didn’t say; Terry for his mastery of the pure mathematics involved in the racing schedule; Rob for clearing the jellyfish from our path; Robin for his organisational skills; and lastly, everybody for making our club so good. Same again next year.
Arild Helland Commodore 2009-10
Saturday 17th April, a race within a race
The end of the sailing season is fast approaching and last Saturday, though autumn has well and truly arrived, Wallagoot Lake Boat Club sailors were fortunate enough to enjoy two point score races in a light noreaster. This lovely breeze was a very much appreciated late taste of summer. Robin Foote and Rob Whymark on the duty boat set an enjoyable course for thirteen starting boats.
Sailing conditions were so pleasant that the finish line may have stopped the races, but completely failed to stop the fun – only the dropping of the wind and the going down of the sun were able to achieve that.
Two point-score races were held with some very close finishes after the calculations and adjustment for yardstick. A highlight of both races was the ‘race within a race’ of the five Sabres. Rob Whymark generously loaned his sailor-less Sabre to Tony Hastings who was boat-less due to car troubles. This was a match made in heaven, and Tony proceeded to perform so well that he may not be allowed near a Sabre again.
Next weekend WLBC will be holding the final races of our sailing calendar for 2009-2010, and the end of year presentation and BBQ will be held at the club on Saturday 1st May 2010.
Race 1: 1st Neil Fischer (Sabre) 2nd Rob & <st1:place>Sian</st1:place> Morton (MG14) 3rd Tony Hastings (Sabre)
Race 2: 1st Rob & Sian Morton (MG14) 2nd Tony Hastings (Sabre) 3rd Neil Fischer (Sabre)
Race1: 1st Arild Helland (Windrush) 2nd Jeff Hope (Windrush)
Race 2: 1st Jeff Hope (Windrush) 2nd Arild Helland (& Crew) (Windrush)
Wallagoot Lake Boat Club Regatta, March 6-7 2010
Another successful regatta was held on Wallagoot Lake last weekend with sailors travelling from as far afield as Jindabyne, Canberra and Jervis Bay to compete in four divisions for prizes kindly donated by local businesses. It is always great to see our regular visitors return year after year, as well as past club members trekking back to join us for the annual Canberra Day long weekend event.
The weather also smiled kindly upon our modest club with enough wind to complete four races over the two days. On Saturday the wind was light and shifted direction often. This created a great tactical challenge for the sailors as they tried to find the best route to windward. On Sunday the breeze gradually increased throughout the day, becoming strong enough for all the boats to hit top speed in the afternoon race. It was spectacular, with fast catamarans screaming along, while the manoeuvrable MGs fought a close duel, and large trailer-sailors leaned over to full tilt.
The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club appreciates the generous support of Mitre 10 (Bega), Betta Electrical (Bega), Barbeques Galore (Bega), Merimbula Outboard, Staffords Hardware (Bega), Batemans Bay Power and Sail, Sportspower (Bega), Bega Cheese, and Disaster Bay Chillies.
Division 1 – Multihulls
1st Tony Hastings (Paper Tiger), 2nd Richard Hastings (Nacre 14), 3rd Tim Symons (Hobie 17)
Division 2 – Fast monohulls
1st Mary Tulip/Roellen Little (MG14), 2nd Rob Morton/Edward Molony (MG14), 3rd Tony Prcevich/Yves Bernard/A Leavesley (Sharpie)
Division 3 – Other monohulls
1st Neil Fisher (Sabre), 2nd G Vikstrom (Laser radial), 3rd Maurie Lynch (Sabre)
Division 4 – Trailer Sailors
1st Ros Graeme Dennett (Hartley 18), 2nd Danny & Digger Hamer (Grey Fox), 3rd Assorted Captain & Crew (Caribou).
Saturday 30th January 2010
The first of our three sailing classes was held at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club last Saturday. Fourteen new sailors took to the water in perfect learning conditions, each accompanied by an experienced sailor from the club. An hour of on-the-water time was complemented by an introduction to sailing concepts, knots, fashion and safety conducted by Terry Kirby in the clubhouse. No tears were shed (by students or tutors) and we expect to see all fourteen of our new sailors back for lesson 2 on Saturday 6th February.
The WLBC racing calendar continued after the lessons with a point-score race. Sixteen boats crossed the start line in the largest fleet we have seen in club racing for quite a while. The winds, which had been quite gentle and perfect for learning earlier in the day, changed and increased to the NE at 10-15 knots, which was perfect for the more experienced sailors. These conditions were so lovely that many boats continued sailing about the lake after they had finished racing.
1st Rob & Sian Morton “Wizard of Oz” (MG14), 2nd Neil Fisher “Windsong” (Sabre), 3rd Terry Kirby “Frodo” (Sabre)
1st Arild Helland (Windrush), 2nd Terry Ubrihien (Maricat), 3rd Jeff Hope (Windrush).
Saturday 12th December 2009; Sabre Series Final
The final three races of the nine race Sabre series were held last Saturday on Wallagoot Lake, followed by a point score race for the whole WLBC fleet. It was a lovely day to be outside and an even better day to be on the water. There was enough wind to have fun, but not enough to scare off our newer sailors. In fact, it was the sort of day that makes you wonder why people choose to spoil boats by replacing masts and sails with petrol powered mechanical contraptions (unless they want to water-ski, and then, of course, it makes perfect sense).
Wendy Miller had a practical lesson in the magic of starting sequences during the Sabre races, ably instructed by Robin Foote, which she then put to immediate use in the point score race. Wendy and Glyn, her cabin boy, sailed their Pacer beautifully only to come unstuck when they didn’t realise a triangle can also be a sausage. Strange but true. Eddie and Joe Maloney were also impressive sailing their Flying 11, as were Angie and Hazel in the Mirror Miracle. Joe and Hazel were both sailing for the first time and it is a credit to their sailing partners (both also fairly new to the sport) that they both returned to shore happy, healthy and relatively dry.
Race 1: 1st Terry Kirby, 2nd Neil Fisher, 3rd Roger Ubrihien.
Race 2: 1st Terry Kirby, 2nd Neil Fisher, 3rd Roger Ubrihien.
Race 3: 1st Terry Kirby, 2nd Neil Fisher, 3rd Roger Ubrihien.
MultiHulls: 1st Tony Hastings (Paper Tiger) 2nd Terry Ubrihien (Maricat)
Monohulls: 1st Rob & Sian Morton (MG14) 2nd Roger Ubrihien (Sabre), 3rd Neil Fisher (Sabre).
Saturday 28th November; Attack of the Sabres
The first 3 races of the WLBC Sabre series were held last Saturday, and this series continues over the next 2 weekends. Seven Sabres and their Seven Sailors took to the water to begin the competition. Unfortunately only 6 of the boats made it to the start line as Jeff was attacked by his Sabre and had to return to shore before any racing began.
Day 1 of the Sabre series was followed by a club point score race where those dangerous little sabres and their daring helmsmen continued to show off. Robin, Brian and Joy had a busy day setting courses for the various races on another day where the wind did not always cooperate. A lovely 15-20 knot NNE breeze persisted throughout the Sabre series, however, by the time the rest of us had a chance to race the wind had started to misbehave. All was forgiven when a very strong southerly change gave us a fantastic and very, very fast return to the beach via a hastily reset line. It was an extremely close finish but Robin’s cardiologist can be reassured that Robin passed his stress test with flying colours. And they certainly were flying.
Race 1: 1st Roger, 2nd Neil, 3rd Arild.
Race 2: 1st Rob W, 2nd Neil, 3rd Allan.
Race 3: 1st 1st Terry, 2nd Alan, 3rd Neil.
Monohulls: 1st Neil, 2nd Terry, 3rd Alan.
MultiHulls: 1st Arild.
Saturday 21st November 2009; The Spirit of Sailing
Sailors at Wallagoot Lake last Saturday spent time helping each other with upgrades and repairs to their boats. This enabled Wendy to make her Impulse dinghy ready to sail, while Eddy and Jack sorted the spinnaker on their Flying 11.
“Helping each other is in the spirit of sailing,” said Tony Hastings. “We’re always ready to provide advice, encouragement, or in this case parts and tools. New participants are welcome.”
The sailors also raced in 2 handicap start races, where the slower boats get a head start. In the first race Tony managed to pass everyone to claim the win on his Paper Tiger catamaran. Alan and Andrea won the second race on the Club’s Miracle dinghy, showing good form in very light winds.
Special thanks to Arild who acted as Duty Officer, allowed Angela and Tess to borrow his Windrush Catamaran, laid the course, started the race and even rescued a capsized boat.
Saturday 14th November; Wizard of the Winds
A veritable flotilla of sail driven watercraft took to the water at Wallagoot Lake last Saturday to contest two point-score races in light winds. Thirteen boats, including three catamarans and ten dinghies, competed for fun, line honours, and still more fun. The first race was held in a light east northeast breeze but, by the time sailors returned to the water for the second race, the wind had changed to the east southeast. When the wind misbehaves like this it means a lot more work for the duty crew, including dashing about the lake in the motor boat, in order to reset the course. The competitors only need to note, for example, that the red ‘port’ flag has been replaced by the green ‘starboard’ flag and to consider whether this has implications in terms of which way they will head from the start and then travel around the course. Although calculating sailing results in mixed fleets is not really an exact science, one of Saturday’s highlights was a ‘photo-finish’ in race two. This race saw ‘Wizard of Oz’ nudge out ‘Gin & Freckles’ for 1st place by 4/10 of a minute after adjusting for yardstick. WLBC members look forward to seeing Robyn and Brian (‘Gin & Freckles’) travel up from Eden to settle the score many times over in the weeks to come.
Race 1: 1st Rob M & Sian “Wizard of Oz” (MG14), 2nd Robyn & Brian “Gin & Freckles” (Taser), 3rd Peter “Little Wing” (Pacer).
Race 2: 1st Rob M & Sian “Wizard of Oz” (MG14), 2nd Robyn & Brian “Gin & Freckles” (Taser), 3rd Terry “Frodo” (Sabre).
Race 1: 1st Tony (Paper Tiger), 2nd Arild (Windrush) 3rd Jeff (Windrush).
Race 2: 1st Tony (Paper Tiger), 2nd Arild (Windrush), 3rd Jeff (Windrush).
Saturday 7th November; Practicing Rescues
Saturday was the most beautiful of days and the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club members anticipated a fabulous day of sailing. Sadly, the Bureau of Meteorology had other ideas and predicted strong winds on the coast. This prediction was disappointingly accurate and Wallagoot Lake experienced wind gusts of up to 30 knots. In view of this WLBC decided to abandon racing and instead practice boat-righting and rescue techniques.
The participation rate was extremely impressive and all members benefited in honing safety practices and procedures. Ten points and a gold star each to Robin, Rob and Joy on the club boat. We hope conditions will be more conducive to racing next week
Several WLBC members have travelled to nearby regattas in recent weeks and the club is pleased to share details of their successes. At the YMCA Canberra Multihull Regatta Tony Hastings won the Paper Tiger Division, while his Dad, Richard, came 2nd in Division One. Max Dogger, a WLBC member from Mallacoota, came 5th in the Paper Tiger division. Last weekend Rob and Sian Morton (MG14 “Wizard of Oz”) and Terry Kirby (Sabre “Frodo”) came away with a 1st and 3rd respectively in Division 1 from the inaugural Coila Lake Regatta, hosted by the Batemans Bay Sailing Club.
WLBC attracts members, like Max, who cannot regularly sail at the club. Membership of a club and Yachting Australia are required to enter races, and WLBC is one of the more affordable clubs in the state to join (as well as a lovely group of people to sail with).
Saturday 24th October; Perfect for Pointscoring
The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club held two point score races on the most perfect of sailing days last Saturday. A cloudless blue sky, combined with a lovely 6-10 knot easterly breeze swinging to the northeast, gave club members a much appreciated early taste of summer.
Sixteen sailors and crew hit the water in twelve boats under the watchful eyes of Robin and Ros on the WLBC start boat.
It has been pleasing to note the significant increase in the number of female sailors participating on the water, which certainly keeps the boys on their toes. It is also wonderful to see people who have recently taken up or returned to sailing gain confidence and skill in the varying conditions each week. It is never too late to join this friendly and welcoming club. We gather on the shores of Wallagoot Lake near the boat ramp on Saturday mornings to rig our boats, and assist each other in and out of the water, and there is always someone willing and available to talk with potential members.
Race 1: 1st Rob W “Old Salt” (Impulse), 2nd Roger “Salty Dog” (Sabre), 3rd Terry “Frodo”(Sabre).
Race 2: 1st Rob M & Sian “Wizard of Oz” (MG14), 2nd Rob W “Old Salt” (Sabre), 3rd Roger “Salty Dog” (Sabre).
Race 1: 1st Arild (Windrush), 2nd Alan & Andrea (Maricat).
Race 2: 1st Alan & Andrea (Maricat), 2nd Arild (Windrush).
Saturday 10th October; the More the Merrier
The first two point-score races of the WLBC sailing season were held on Saturday 10th October, in a light 4-8 knot SE wind. These ‘all-start-at-the-same-time’ races alternate weekly with the WLBC handicap series which are essentially ‘all-try-to-finish-at-the-same time’ races.
Nine boats competed for line honours on Saturday and we expect these numbers to grow in coming weeks, if the interest from potential new members on shore is any indication. As with most things in life, especially a good red wine, the more the merrier. So if you have a little sailing boat gathering dust in your shed, or some past sailing skill (or total lack of) gathering dust with the passing of the years, join us any Saturday morning on the shores of Wallagoot Lake. Alternatively, if you have a lonely, unused boat in reasonable condition, and it would warm the cockles of your heart to see someone else getting a bit of fun out of it, and giving it a free wash at the same time, contact one of us. We have a few boat-less sailors who would be very grateful.
Race 1: 1st Rob M & Sian “Wizard of Oz” (MG14), 2nd Rob W “Old Salt” (Impulse), 3rd Terry “Frodo” (Sabre).
Race 2: 1st Rob & Sian “Wizard of Oz” (MG14), 2nd Neil “Windsong” (Sabre), 3rd Terry “Frodo” (Sabre).
Race 1 – 1st Tony “Tigerdelic” (Paper Tiger) 2nd Arild (Windrush).
Race 2 -1st Tony “Tigerdelic” (Paper Tiger).